Clara Blue, wife of a history teacher, mother of two young boys, attempts to translate in clay the raccoons, possums and armadillos in the grass outside her door. It's her way of defying change and defeating loss. In much the same fashion, this first novel, hardly more than a daybook, attempts to transfix some rather fractional moments. The days pass, and the seasons: Clara takes lessons from a sculptor who recognizes her talent, prods it, falls a little in love with her; she opposes her way of determining ""what being alive is"" against her husband's and her father's activism: her mother dies and she is unwilling to let go of her memories--snatches of poetry and flowers. Unlike her armadillo (a variant thereof will win her a prize) she's a very soft-shelled sensibility. And like Clara, Mrs. Hearon attempts to use another plastic medium but she's working with quite perishable materials.